Dominic Mah is a writer, director, erratic blogger at dommah.com, and rock musical enthusiast. He recently co-wrote a feature film about superheroes and sidekicks. He is working on a startup comic book. He is often found in karaoke bars being @dommah and @thorhulkcritic.
Because most of the film takes place in 1973. X-SPOILER ALERT.
1. The original X-Men comic storyline “Days Of Future Past,” first published in 1981, took 2 issues. The film takes 73 hours.
2. Really? Same DNA title sequence as 10 years ago?
3. Still no masks. Could we please get Wolverine or someone to put on the freaking MASK? Iconography, dude!
4. The title cards tell us the name of the city location (“Saigon” “Paris” etc.) in every case except for the one that just says, “China.” Um. All of it?
5. Bryan Singer, whom I’ll refer to from this point on as BS for brevity’s sake, cannot figure out the love story, or the father-son story, or any of the relationship stories that matter to the audience.
6. The pathos of the original comic was, the future X-Men were killed by Sentinels. The X-People were proved mortal. Government technology would in the future be powerful enough to kill anyone. We hear this story 100 times in the film but somehow don’t care.
7. Every sci-fi thing in the film is ripped off from Terminator, Star Wars, Star Trek, Blade Runner, or Krull.
8. Colossus uses his “Decimate” move from the Avengers Alliance video game. But no Fastball Special.
9. You can’t really tell what is going on in the action scenes, except that Blink is always being very clever.
10. You can tell what is being said in the dialogue scenes, but there is nothing actually going on, in a dramatic sense.
11. Ellen Page is still wonderful as Kitty Pryde, but she hardly speaks, or fights.
12. Halle Berry wants to go home SO BADLY.
13. If you’re going to mask one thing in the film, it’s Halle Berry’s eyes? Fail.
14. Patrick Stewart over-pronounces “Bolivar Trask” just a little bit. “BO-lee-varh TRASK.” Phoning it in.
15. This doesn’t suck, but, so, Magneto and Professor X are both gay, right? I’m late to realizing that, but it’s awesome. Would be awesomer if it was a factor in the film. An X-Factor, if you will.
16. Kitty & Wolverine should have a spark, if you know the X-Men. They don’t, because BS.
17. Jackman’s butt. I mean, it’s great, but. I thought it was going to get its own theme song.
18. The corny repetitive dialogue is, for better or worse, Claremont-esque.
19. The whole excuse for setting it in the 70’s was probably so Wolverine could wear that excellent leather jacket.
20. Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a tangled interwoven web of a film. X:DOFP is just a random mess.
21. I haven’t been following the Bryan Singer sex scandal, but you notice pretty quickly that there a thousand pretty white guys who can’t act in the film.
22. DOFP may surpass Top Gun as the Most Homoerotic Non-Overtly-Homoerotic film ever made. But only because it lasts longer.
23. Beast, also a pretty white boy. That really is not the point of Beast.
24. The whole X-Movie would be a massive failure were it not for Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique/Raven.
25. Jennifer Lawrence’s X-traordinary intelligence and commitment makes you realize the potential of Mystique, unrealized by Rebecca Romijn. And I went to high school with Rebecca Romijn, so I was rooting for her to be not vapid. But JL inhabits the part like a true actor does.
26. Jennifer Lawrence’s Vietnamese may have been enhanced artificially. Right? Because OMG does her Vietnamese sound legit. She is uncanny.
27. The last thing wouldn’t be a thing except for, you know, hearing the white actor speak an Asian language they’re unfamiliar with in, oh, EVERY OTHER MOVIE, and it just sounds awful, but the other people in the movie act like nothing is wrong.
28. And she speaks French too. That’s how Mystique would do, honestly.
29. But can we PLEASE see her in the costume? BS, I know you don’t get the superhero thing AT ALL, but basically no one cares how many hours it takes to do the Mystique makeup or about the body-tattooing blah blah. The point is, she’s the one who wears the slinky white dress with the gold skull belt.
30. In one line delivery, JLaw kind of owns the whole problem of female looks-objectification in movies and everywhere. She is REALLY amazing.
31. Ennobled by exposure to actual ACTING, we the audience really want to see Ellen Page/Kitty Pryde fight Jennifer Lawrence/Mystique. Do we get to see this? No. Was it in the original comic? Pretty much yes.
32. The one flaw in Jennifer Lawrence’s attempt to rescue the entire film is, we still don’t believe in the love triangle involving Mystique at all. Because it doesn’t happen in the comics, and it has already happened in The Hunger Games.
33. You know that song “Bizarre Love Triangle” by New Order? If it was called “Boring Love Triangle,” it could be in X-Men: DOFP.
34. On that “note,” the music in the film is awful. Constantly.
35. Quicksilver says to someone, “You’re good,” meaning, “You’re not in imminent danger.” No one in 1973 said that.
36. Quicksilver’s bit is cool, but it’s exactly the same gag as in “The Girl, The Gold Watch, and Everything” just made with superior camera technology.
37. What color is Quicksilver’s hair exactly? It’s like shampoo-colored.
38. Can we have another shot involving slow-motion bullets? Just one more, please. Thanks.
39. The color of Beast’s fur also looks off, as in, it looks stupid.
40. There are no hero moments. The X-Men never save anybody from trouble. They just kind of look out for themselves.
41. Can I just say one more word in favor of Lawrence’s come-hither Vietnamese? Not only did she sound Vietnamese, she spoke with the cadences of a flirty Vietnamese girl (a type I was more or less in constant contact with during my casino days). I mean, I don’t speak Vietnamese, so someone please correct me if I’m wrong. I feel like it must’ve been dubbed.
42. Where is Cyclops? Any Cyclops.
43. There is no point of view. There is no main character. Wolverine is trying, but BS has stopped caring about Wolverine.
44. There is a scene in the middle with Trask and Abercrombie Stryker that takes 12 minutes and has exactly no point because all that information was given in the first 15 minutes of the film.
45. What are all those gauges on Cerebro? #-Of-Brain-O-Meters?
46. Awww, Jean Grey. In flashback from another film. Great.
47. I’m giving away a lot of spoilers, true, but also, it’s a movie about time travel. The time travel trope inevitably involves spoilers, doesn’t it. The whole concept of going back to the past to change the future is sort of like the ultimate spoiler.
48. There’s a scene in an airport that is conceptually awesome but so clumsily written and acted that you almost don’t notice the excellence of its concept.
49. Who wrote these 117 dialogue scenes about exactly the same thing?
50. At some point I was like, “I’m going to take a nap, and hope to be awoken by explosions.”
51. The X-Men will rise again. In the 1980s. The next X-Movie better involve the ’80s X-Men, because they had some totally rad costumes. Not that there are any costumes in these movies.
52. At one point Logan says, “Remember their names: Storm. Scott. Jean.” Storm’s name is Ororo, bub. Storm is a code-name. Logan would say, “Ororo.”
53. Jackman’s best acting partner in the whole film is a prop metal detector.
54. Magneto’s costume finally looks authentic, anyway. Too bad he has always had the dumbest costume.
55. Professor X. Stop. Pointing. At. Your head.
56. Warpath’s mutant power is to say, “Here they come!” Really?
57. Where did Havok and all of the First Classers go? What were they doing in the film in the first place?
58. Why does this tentpole film feature Bishop and all of the lame 90’s X-Men? Because BS doesn’t really care.
59. Blink, you can stop saying “Hai” now. Xie xie, bu hao yisi.
60. Wolverine vs. Magneto should be big. It isn’t.
61. But, thanks for horrifically impaling Wolverine for once; as Wolverine’s graphic injuries go, so go the X-Men. A big flaw of the X- Franchise is they don’t blow up Wolverine enough. That’s his thing, getting Exploded, Burned, Stabbed, Poisoned, Flayed, and then Re-Exploded. And then he heals, gets up, and saves the girl.
62. I was weirdly happy every time that Iceman died.
63. BS gave the fans nothing that they want. He gives himself things that he wants. Paris. Indistinguishable cute guys.
64. Kitty’s Buckminster Fuller moment? High-quality. SHOULDA BEEN LONGER.
65. CYCLOPS. Dudes, I don’t care if he’s a dull character, Cyclops’ red mono-eye is the visual focal point of the X-Men. The other more interesting characters need Cyclops to bounce off of. It’s not the X-Men without at least some reference to Cyclops. DOFP has one, but far too little too late.
66. Bring me (back) to life! The only thing that happens in the X-books more often than fighting Magneto is PEOPLE DYING AND COMING BACK TO LIFE. This is sorely under-used in the films, considering it’s a sci-fi franchise where every other possible ridiculous thing has already happened.
67. Not only should there be more Asians in this movie, there should be more Asians MAKING the X-Movies. Miike. Justin Lin. Bong Joon-ho. There are filmmakers who understand action, hero iconography, and the marginalization/ethnic metaphor that is the X-Men’s central theme.
68. The reason you need the masks is, ironically, it helps you tell who people are. Otherwise, it’s just a bunch of GQ models making odd hand gestures to create force fields.
69. Not to X-pile on a guy when he’s down, but no New Mutants franchise for you, Mr. Singer. Or is it Mr. SINISTER? Bwa ha hoo hah.
70. Could we, um, just not have an X-Men: Apocalypse film rather than have a film as incoherent as DOFP? Could the apocalypse please happen before that happens?
71. The final fight against the 1973 Sentinels was like a masterpiece of poor planning. The three X-Men who are the least effective against large robots out of all the possible X-Men who could appear in the film have an underwhelming wrassle with the Sentinels and are forced to, rather than use their mutant abilities, hide and scamper around. Dude. I CAN GET THAT AT HOME.
72. The final fight against the future Sentinels works somewhat better, if you ignore the choices to shoot all the black-clad African-American X-Men at night fighting black robots that look like shadows, and the repeated insistence on stabbing Blink through the stomach, as if somehow implying she would want it that way.
73. You know what would’ve saved this movie? Mystique, Kitty Pryde, Wolverine, Cyclops and Blink versus Alan Rickman as NIMROD. Look it up. ‘Nuff said.
An X-Men Fan.
When the Japanese do American superheroes, good things always happen.